McCann-Erickson is looking for a merger partner to bolster its
Scottish agency, which has been hit by account losses and has a
lacklustre new-business record.
Initial talks with the Union and another small Edinburgh-based shop,
Covey’s, are understood to have taken place this week.
Brian Child, the chief executive of McCanns in Manchester, who has
overall responsibility for the group’s Scottish operations, confirmed
this week that a merger was likely. Child said: ’We’re interested in
talking to anybody with a good business proposition to put to us.’
The McCanns office in Edinburgh was badly hit by the recent loss of its
most important piece of business - the pounds 2 million Theakston beer
account - in the wake of Scottish & Newcastle’s takeover by Courage.
Aubrey Malden, the agency’s managing director for the past six years, is
to be replaced (Campaign, 13 June), although Child stressed he would be
relocated within the McCanns organisation.
’Aubrey is an excellent creative and we don’t want to lose him,’ Child
said. ’But we need to have a successful agency in Scotland so we’ve had
to look at changing its management.’ Paul Morley, the chairman of
McCanns in Birmingham, is examining the management structure in
Child admitted the loss of the Theakston account had ’concentrated our
minds’. He added: ’We need to concentrate on winning new clients.’
He also agreed that Scotland had always been a ’tricky area’ for McCanns
but insisted the group had no plans to withdraw from north of the